North Korean threats must be addressed

By Jake Chiarelli

The escalating threats and rhetoric that North Korea initiated in the past few weeks have many Americans wondering what the future will hold. The United States needs to encourage peace with North Korea and prevent a conflict without the loss of life.

North Korean Warheads in Pyongyang (source photo)
North Korean warhead in Pyongyang (source photo)

North Korea has had a long standing history of aggression with the United States, and in recent weeks, threats and aggressive statements have intensified. According to NBC, an unnamed North Korean military official stated, “The moment of explosion is approaching fast. No one can say a war will breakout in Korea or not and whether it will break out today or tomorrow.” North Korean officials in Pyongyang have stated that they “reserve the rights to nuclear strikes against Washington or Seoul,” according to BBC. These threats have to be treated with level-headed and peaceful responses.

These shows of power included two missiles being moved to a hidden facility on the North Korean East coast. These missiles have raised tensions because they are capable of an attack on South Korea An attack on South Korea could threaten U.S. troops, and with tensions so high, the U.S. needs to ensure that they are taking the appropriate actions to avoid conflict and protect these troops.

Another major concern is with North Korea’s nuclear capabilities. The North Korean government has made threats of nuclear war against the United States and its citizens, and in my opinion, that should have the global community on high alert. The threat of global nuclear war hasn’t been higher since the Cold War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Then, tensions had been high between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., which arguably almost ended with the outbreak of global nuclear war. Nuclear war must be avoided at all costs. Loss of life, no matter how isolated a conflict may be, would be catastrophic.

The threat of nuclear war has been analyzed and speculated on for decades, especially during and following the Cuban Missile crisis, and that possibility is simply unacceptable. Nuclear war could consist of a country using nuclear warheads against another, and possibly causing other countries to feel threatened and retaliate. That huge of a loss of life should not be considered, if for no other reason than because of basic human morals. Millions and millions of people could die. Global war could break out if nuclear missiles are launched, and countries fear for their own safety. For that reason, the United States needs to make it their priority to prevent conflict from breaking out.

The U.S. needs to work in cooperation with the U.N. to decide the best course of action and response for North Korea. They also need to ensure that they express their desire for peace to not only North Korea but to the rest of the world, to keep their intentions clear.

I believe that the US government should use whatever peacemaking measures they deem fit to ensure the safety of their troops while also preventing a war from breaking out. This could be anything from peace talks, to coordinating with the U.N., or any other peaceful solution that diplomats could come up with. According to The Associated Press, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin says the North Korean missiles have “considerable range” [around 2500 miles] but not far enough range to hit the continental United States. The range is, however, is large enough range for a strike against South Korea and Japan. The U.S. needs to launch negotiations with the North Korean government, while at the same time keeping up their defenses and offering whatever support allies like Japan and South Korea need to keep their own citizens safe.

In case North Korea denies peaceful negotiations, the U.S. needs to defend the  80,000 or more troops that they have positioned in South Korea and Japan. By defend, I mean plan and develop a defensive strategy in case of the worst-case scenario: conflict. An attack on South Korea could mean the death of many U.S. troops. This is why an attack must be prevented.

My hope is that the U.S. government responds in an appropriate and level-headed way, without provoking aggression. The United States’ number one priority should be to contain the situation and encourage peace from a reserved, but cautious standpoint, if for no other reason, than to protect their own troops stationed to protect U.S. allies.